published Thursday, March 7th, 2013

5-at-10: UT spring questions, Vols hoops and Mike Bobo

UT spring questions

Gang thanks for all the UT football emails. And we concur there are a wide array of questions for the Vols this spring.

Since Downtown Patrick Brown had basketball responsibilities last night, we will post his answers to the following three questions around lunch. The 5-at-10, however, waits for no man.

To paraphrase the questions, and the great scene in Bull Durham where the manager blows an O-ring in the locker room: Who's going to throw the ball? Who's going to catch the ball? Who's going to hit the ball carrier?

There will be a ton of time to spill a ton of ink on the transition of the new staff and the new systems. And while the baby steps needed to get comfortable in a "power spread" will be slow and arduous, the switch back to the 4-3 defense will be met with open arms and excitement.

As for the positional inquiries above, here's our best guess:

Throw the ball — Nathan Peterman and Justin Worley will get the first shot this spring, and one of them better take the reins and hold on. If neither guy emerges, and the quarterback quandary heads into August, well, we'll go with one — or both — of the incoming freshmen getting a big chance to land the QB1 handle.

Catch the ball — Jason Croom, come on down. And bring Pig Howard with you. Howard will be interesting to watch this spring in that he could be a guy that plays a number of positions in Coach Butch Jones' offense. This is another spot that two incoming freshmen — Paul Harris, who is already enrolled and will practice this spring, and MarQuez North — will get more than a little opportunity to help. (Side note: MarQuez's second capital letter is growing on us. We're looking at adopting that, maybe a 5-aT-10 kind of thing? Thoughts?)

Hitting the ball carrier — For the first time since the unrest on The Hill started, the defensive front seven seems experienced and somewhat competent. It's time for Jacquez Smith, the former Ooltewah superstar, to deliver as an every down defensive end. A.J. Johnson is as good as any linebacker in the league. That said, if the UT secondary was a music group, they would be called Brian Randolph and the Invisibles.

We'll get Downtown's answers up around noon.

————

Hoop Dreams still breathing for UT

Down three at the half and in a slugfest for much of the final 40 minutes, the Tennessee Vols survived Wednesday night at Auburn, recording an 82-75 win.

It wasn't a pretty win. It wasn't a confidence-inspiring win. It wasn't a textbook win, certainly not over an Auburn team that is plunging into a historic hole of futility.

But it was a win, and that's all that mattered.

It was such a mixed bag, that the Vols survived despite a litany of head-scratching numbers.

Auburn shot 51 percent and lost. Tennessee made more than twice as many free throws than Auburn even attempted, despite Jarnell Stokes' positively Shaq-tastic 1-of-10 effort at the foul-line.

Math aside, the Vols now can work for Saturday's showdown with Missouri with bubble dreams and at-large wishes on the tips of their fingers because of the win at Auburn. And that win was decided by the artist formerly known as Trae Golden.

As bad as Golden was in the puzzling loss at Georgia last Saturday, he was that good Wednesday. In 36 minutes, he was a study of efficiency. His assists-to-turnover numbers (6-to-1) were elite and he scored 21 points on just 12 shots.

We know our man StuckinKent will drop some bubble logic later today, and we'll leave that to him.

The Vols are still in the mix, and plainly, that's all that matters after a trip to the Plains.

————

NFL moves

We're six weeks from the draft. And you know who loves the draft? Yep, the 5-aT-10, that's who.

There is a ton of NFL stuff we have to catch up on before we can really get to pegging our draft board.

There are the holes teams must create to get under the cap and the holes they will fill by signing free agents when the shopping starts next Wednesday. Here are some key numbers to keep in mind:

• The NFL salary cap — a hard limit to what each NFL team can spend on the players on the 53-man roster — is $123 million.

• According to CBSsports.com, eight teams — Cleveland, Cincy, Indy, Jacksonville, Miami, New England, Phily and Tampa — have at least $25 million in cap room. New Orleans and Carolina are currently over the cap.

• There are not a lot of big names on the market, and the vacuum of available QBs in the draft and in free agency is staggering. If the Chiefs finalize the trade to land Alex Smith, the best five options among the for-sure free agents and in the draft pool are Jason Campbell, Geno Smith, Matt Moore, Brady Quinn and Matt Barkley. OUCH-standing.

• There are some talented skill-position players lurking about, names like Jared Cook or Reggie Bush and even a Stephen Jackson or a Wes Welker.

• Also, there are going to be a lot of big-time names that are looking for one more moment in the sun. Randy Moss, Charles Woodson and Rishard Seymour along with former Falcons John Abraham and Michael Turner.

————

This and that

— Todd McShay's latest mock draft is out and he has 12 SEC players — three Alabama players, three Georgia players, two Vols and one each from Texas A&M, Missouri, Florida and LSU — in the first round. Interesting stuff.

— You know it's March when our ace columnist Mark Wiedmer is really in his element. After sharing some science Wednesday, Weeds makes the case for the Lady Mocs being worthy of at-large bid and accurately notes that the Lady Mocs can't be held accountable that the rest of the SoCon is SoBad. We all know that Wes Moore and Co. have no intention of leaving their fate in the hands of the committee, but if it comes to that, we think the Lady Mocs have done enough.

— We were speaking of remakes Wednesday, and then news breaks that CBS is making a "Beverly Hills Cop" TV show, and that the central figure will be Axel Foley's son. Eddie Murphy will appear in the show, as will Judge Reinhold. The Judge may be in; the jury is definitely out on this one. And if they are going to make a TV show out of a great 1980s movie, hello, Red Dawn. Seriously, this could work.

— R.I.P. Paul Bearer, the one-time manager of the Undertaker in the WWE.

—————

Today's question(s)

Remember Friday's mailbag and feel free to sound off about our UT football views. Plus, we'll post Stuck's Bubble book when we receive it.

As for the question, we were wondering about something....

As our SEC ace David Paschall tells us here, the entire Georgia Bulldogs coaching staff got raises.

Chief among those to reap the windfall was offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who got a $240,000 raise to $575K per year. That's a sizable increase.

Here's the dilemma: We know several Johnny Bulldogs Fans who believe Bobo to be a bozo. We also can see the reverse argument that after directing a record-setting offense last year, that Bobo is underpaid considering his salary is only fourth in the SEC among OCs and still roughly half of the coin Chadd Morris gets from Clemson.

Yes, Bobo got a really nice bump, but considering his time and talent, should he be ticked that he's still making $275,000 less than Todd Grantham? Or should he be thankful to have his gig, as some of the anti-Bobo folks would claim?

Discuss.

about Jay Greeson...

Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...

21
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chas9 said...

It's Johnny Carson, Johnny Football, Johnny Volsfan and Johnny Majors. But it's Billy Bulldog.

Yes, the stats from last night were amazing. Not many teams can give up the shot percentage differential that UT did and still win. And not many visiting teams get to shoot three times as many free throws as the home team. But it matters not. It's all about Mizzou.

But speaking of AU, anybody who saw yesterday's TFP has seared into their memory the striking image of the 21-year-old who was arrested for firing a gun into a car full of women in Alton Park. You must remember it, the raven black hair with luxuriant bangs half bright orange, half saturated blue. I'm assuming the apparent Auburn alum will start a new fashion trend. Even male goofballs might try it.

I don't know which second capital letter might work for you, but you might consider pronouncing the surname with the accent on the second syllable and a French twist: pinch your nose and say, gree SOHN, with the final N barely pronounced.

March 7, 2013 at 10:34 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

JG - As much as it pains me (the area's most well known vol hater) the pieces are in place along with a coach that actually knows what it takes to win...the clorox orange fans will be happy with the result...although he was a capable recruiter the departure of Jay Graham will be a blessing...there were far too many that wanted to keep some sort of ties to the past glory...Does Saban do that? Much to the tide faithful's credit, the days of living in the past are over...is there any truth that the vols have signed a contract to televise their games on the history channel?...Weeds hit the nail on the head with the Lady Mocs, however I will not get my hopes up if they somehow do not win the conf tourney, even though they truly deserve an at large bid...perhaps it is time for serious thought of leaving the SoCon if App and GSU do actually depart, although it is hard to think of a FBS conf that would take a team in Boone NC or Statesboro...I am old school on the retread movies either as a television series or remake...Red Dawn BOMBED at the box office and the reviews were horrendous there are some movies you should NEVER be allowed to remake but the hollywood powers that be arent that bright to figure it out...Perhaps BHC would work, at least it would give the once uber talented Eddie Murphy somewhere to apply his skills other than those lame remakes of Jerry Lewis films and all the other garbage the one time SNL genius (remember buckwheat sings, and velvet jones be a ho...pure genius) has been making...nice shout out to paul bearer, watched the ron howard produced documentary "beyond the mat" again the other night, and anyone who remotely enjoys rasslin needs to give it watch...

March 7, 2013 at 10:54 a.m.
mcpell3 said...

5/10 - I can't remember a poorer class of free agent QB's. Yikes, its so bad we might have Purple Drank Russell and Vince young signed before Brady Quinn.

chas - I considered those bangs to be U of FLA colors.

March 7, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.
jgreeson said...

9er —

McPell is 1000-percent correct. Those were so Florida bangs that she got a pair of jorts with the purchase.

And yes, it's Mizzou. All about Mizzou now. Win and stay on the bubble's edge. Lose at home and start planning on the NIT hosting role.

OG —

Wow, you must really think highly of Coach Butch Jones. You giving the Vols some praise is like Palestine saying Israel is a good neighbor.

A Red Dawn TV show could work. It's a better premise than a lot of the fantasy dreck that's out there now. (And while we haven't seen the remake yet, we will reserve judgement until we watch it. Anyone going in expecting some sort of cinematic achievements is foolish. Red Dawn is about popcorn fun. WOLVERINES.)

McPell —

If Vince Young returns to the NFL what will become of his part-time work with NASA or his attempt to get into medical school? (Kidding.)

If Purple Drank Russell returns to the NFL, he'll be wearing a number in the 70s and playing on the O-line. (Not kidding — Dude is HUGE.)

March 7, 2013 at 11:20 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

The original RD is a good escape movie...Swayze, Baby LOL, my personal hero Charlie Sheen...were really really good...my thing is who would be the enemy in the tv series...

March 7, 2013 at 11:24 a.m.
Todd962 said...

McPell, I was with you on the Florida colors over Auburn, that was until Chas' shot at male Auburn grads and their potential of duplicating the wonderful looks those bangs create. He won me over.

Is anyone else with me on the fact that this may be a Vince McMahon publicity stunt and they are going to have an open casket viewing on the set of Monday Raw only to have Paul Bearer do the Undertaker throat grab on somebody to scare the beejesus out of everyone watching? Just me? Alright, well RIP Paul Bearer. I appreciate all the times you creeped me out a kid as you maniacally meandered around the ring during matches. Good times.

March 7, 2013 at 11:27 a.m.
jgreeson said...

OG —

Pick a group. Terrorists. North Koreans with help from the Chinese coming to collect the ka-billion bucks we owe them. Kablastanians... yes we made that up. Think of it as a low-budget, high-action version of Homeland-crossed-with-Jericho.

Heck Charlie Sheen could be Matty and Jed Eckert's dad in the prison camp in town. Charlie's got some free time here lately. WINNING.

962 —

Easy. That's a whole new version of Bama bangs for sure.

That Vince McMahon theory would be excellent theater. Sadly, we read the news about Paul Bearer on the interweb, and we all know that anything you read on the interweb has to be true.

Who would be the pallbearers for a Paul Bearer? Hmmmmmmm...

March 7, 2013 at 11:39 a.m.
JonathanMCook said...

Jay-

::With a smile on my face so this does not get misread:: OG pretty much stole much of my thunder this morning. But that's good because I don't have to write as much.

I read Weeds column over breakfest and SoBad is a great analogy. As much as I love watching the heart, hussle, and dedication of Wes Moore's warrior women, I have not found any reason to want to watch conference play. Especially after the Georgia Southern game. On the court, it looks like five women cloned to either be Xena and "That Resident Evil chick who can't get any work other than in Resident Evil movies" vs. the Ally McMeal clones. So while their non-conference games gives them a reason to be considered at-large. That "Baylor woman" down in Waco would physically laugh in Wes Moore's face if she read his conference schedule.

The fact Eddie Murphy and Judge Nelson signed on for BHC: The Next Generation is living proof the two men are but a shell of their former selves. I never figured out WHY Eddie made some of the films he did in recent years. But the fact he's willing to play a supporting role simular to Bobby, JR, and Sue Ellen will hold the show merit. Of course, the real story is how the character will be written. I imagine Senior Axl by this time to either be a precent captain or a deputy chief or the top dog in Detroit.

Finally, watching "Drag Race High" on Speed before I turned in last night and saw what look like a poorly-made commercial featuring Jose Conseco in a black tank top talking about "M.T." pills for a longer sex drive. OUCH-standing!

March 7, 2013 at 11:39 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

lol todd...vince is a master showman, but not to the point of faking a death lol...moody had been sick for some time...speaking of vinnie mac...the number of movies being turned out by WWE is incredible...and most of them are not featuring rasslers...

March 7, 2013 at 11:44 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Kablastanians I like that...although Charlie's new show Anger Management is pretty good...

March 7, 2013 at 12:08 p.m.
Eustice_Chase said...

Yes indeed R.I.P Paul Bearer...talk about a ringside mainstay in the WWF/E for many years... One of the Best Moves the WWF/E made was handing the raines of the Undertaker from Brother Love to Paul Bearer...after all...what about The Undertaker...who is 20 and 0 at Wrestle Manie....says anything about brotherly love ?

Paul Bearer ranks right at the top of the list as Great Pro Wrestling managers...who do you have at the top of your list ?

here is mine....thanks for asking... 1. Bobby The Brain Heenan...No Question... 2. Classy Freddie Blassy...a former #1...but we gotta give the top spot to the Brain 3. The Mouth of the South Jimmy Hart... that megaphone....those glasses...the jackets....some say that T-Pain modeled his Singing Career and style after the Mouth of the South... 4.J.J. Dillon...without Dillon would the 4 Horsemen really have been the 4 Horsemen... 5.Paul Bearer...this guy put himself through so much...he probably took more bumps than any other Manager in History...and that Urn..who can forget that Urn...what was in the Urn ? Im guessing Gummy Bears...rumor is the Undertaker had a sweettooth...

March 7, 2013 at 12:28 p.m.
sportsfan said...

Jay - a somewhat off the wall question for the Friday mailbag and SportTalk's Racing Hour next Wednesday with Ken from the Moparosa...after the crash during the Nationwide race at Daytona, I've been wondering if the "blame" (if that's the right word) could be placed on NASCAR? Seems to me that NASCAR requiring restrictor plates at places like Daytona and Dega, creates pack racing which in turn causes the big crashes, which impacted race fans dramatically two weeks ago. Driver's assume the risk when they get in the car and get on the track. Fans shouldn't be at risk. Would eliminating restrictor plates make it safer for the fans by spreading out the field on the track (reducing the potential for the "big one")? With the HANS device and the safety barriers on the track, the drivers are more protected now. Just wondering...

March 7, 2013 at 12:32 p.m.
chas9 said...

A current NBC/WSJ poll claims only 42 percent of adults believe that athletes are good role models for children, versus 48 percent who disagree. In 1982, a whopping 75 percent of respondents said athletes are good role models and 19 percent said they weren't. I guess we're getting smarter. At least athletes score higher than cockroaches or Congress.

And 99% of East Tennesseans said Lane Kiffin IS a cockroach.

March 7, 2013 at 12:43 p.m.
BIspy4 said...

Well, 5, your name in the past has been mangled to Gleeson or Gleason, depending on your spelling (and I've seen your spelling. Aside from your dyslexia, it's not terrible).

March 7, 2013 at 12:47 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From Downtown Patrick Brown

Tackle: AJ Johnson is going to hit a lot of ballcarriers a lot of times. He just needs some running mates. What happens with Curt Maggitt? He'll likely continue to split time between outside 'backer and defensive end, when he's healthy of course, but I thought was more effective at linebacker. Daniel McCullers and Mo Couch isn't a bad tandem at defensive tackle. I liked Brian Randolph's abilities before the 5-at-10's man-crush started, but I want to see how he looks this spring off that knee injury. I tend to think most of these defensive guys will benefit from not having Sal Sunseri coaching them, assuming all of them (except. AJ Johnson, because leading the SEC in tackles is a big deal) have erased the 2012 debacle from their collective memories.

Catch: I've always liked big-bodied receivers, so I'm intrigued by how Jason Croom (6-5, 230+) and Paul Harris (6-4 with some Justin Hunter-style plays in his high school film) look this spring. Harris already has generated some buzz with his intangibles and physical talent. I think Pig Howard and Drae Bowles can handle the slot for the spring. I can't forget about Vincent Dallas and Jacob Carter, who I'm not sure I've ever seen drop a pass in practice, pregame or in games. Those two guys have to be steadying hands (no pun intended) for the group.

Throw: The notion going into spring is Nathan Peterman, because he's more of a runner, appears to fit better into a spread and was recruited heavily by Butch & Co. at Cincinnati, has an advantage on Justin Worley. But you never can discount experience, especially in this league. Worley has started games in this league and on the road. And truthfully, does anyone know how good of an athlete he is? He's not been in a system that's needed him to be. The previous staff liked both quarterbacks, particularly from a work ethic standpoint and understanding what it takes to play the position well--which may be a change of pace from the last quarterback. Unless Worley or Peterman thoroughly outperforms the other, I'd be surprised if Tennessee names a starter or leader because I think Butch will want the competition to keep going with the two freshmen.

March 7, 2013 at 1:39 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent

OK- here you go with your Thursday update.

AUTOMATIC BIDS: 31 LOCKS: 27 CLAIMED BIDS: 48 REMAINING BIDS: 20 ON THE BUBBLE: 37

LOCKS Atlantic 10: Saint Louis, VCU ACC: Miami, Duke, North Carolina Big 12: Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State Big East: Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame Big Ten: Indiana, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State Missouri Valley: Creighton Mountain West: New Mexico, UNLV, Colorado State, San Diego State Pac 12: Arizona SEC: Florida WCC: Gonzaga

BUBBLE Atlantic 10: Butler LaSalle, Xavier, Temple, Massachusetts ACC: Virginia, North Carolina State, Maryland Big 12: Iowa State, Oklahoma Big East: Cincinnati, Villanova, Providence Big Ten: Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa Conference USA: Memphis MAC: Akron Missouri Valley: Wichita State Mountain West: Air Force, Boise State OVC: Belmont Pac 12: Oregon, UCLA, Arizona State, Colorado, California SEC: Alabama, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee Southland: Stephen F. Austin Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee WAC: Louisiana Tech WCC: St. Mary's

Quick points: Baylor and Southern Miss both dropped off my list. They are still on many others (including right in the thick of it with Lunardi). Why am I not including them? Because a 14 loss team from the fifth best conference in the country (which Baylor would be if they need an at-large bid) is probably not a tournament team. On top of that, Southern Miss currently has one Top 100 win, and no Top 75 wins. Is a team with five losses in Conference USA (who does not have a lock yet) going to get in with that kind of profile, no matter how good their RPI is? I don't see it. The only way they get a Top 75 win? By beating Memphis, which would be in the Conference USA Championship Game, which would get them into the tournament automatically. That's why I'm not including either one of those two teams while other people are. I may re-evaluate at some point (especially if Baylor beats Kansas). But not at this point.

BEST SHAPE: Oregon, Oklahoma, Illinois, Minnesota, UCLA, Villanova, Butler WORST SHAPE: Belmont, Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech, Saint Mary's, Middle Tennessee, Iowa, Providence, Air Force, Arkansas, Maryland

March 7, 2013 at 1:40 p.m.
jgreeson said...

From friend of the show StuckinKent (part II — Corinthians, he needs two books)

GAMES INVOLVING BUBBLE TEAMS

Thursday Oregon at Colorado Butler at Massachusetts Virginia at Florida State Kentucky at Georgia Sam Houston State at Stephen F. Austin Louisiana Tech at New Mexico State

Friday Kent State at Akron Belmont- OVC Tournament Wichita State- MVC Tournament

Saturday LaSalle at Saint Louis Xavier at Butler Massachusetts at Rhode Island North Carolina State at Florida State Oklahoma at TCU Iowa State at West Virginia South Florida at Cincinnati Providence at Connecticut Minnesota at Purdue Nebraska at Iowa UAB at Memphis San Diego State at Boise State New Mexico at Air Force Oregon at Utah UCLA at Washington Arizona State at Arizona Oregon State at Colorado Florida at Kentucky Missouri at Tennessee Ole Miss at LSU Georgia at Alabama Texas A&M at Arkansas Stepehen F. Austin at Texas A&M-Corpus Cristi Lousiana Tech at Denver Belmont- OVC Tournament (if they win on Friday) Middle Tennessee- Sun Belt Tournament St. Mary's- WCC Tournament Wichita State- MVC Tournament (if they win on Friday)

Sunday VCU at Temple Maryland at Virginia Illinois at Ohio State Middle Tennessee- Sun Belt Tournament (if they win on Saturday) Wichita State- MVC Tournament (if they win on Saturday)

March 7, 2013 at 1:41 p.m.
chas9 said...

OK. I can barely stomach Harrison Ford coming back, but now I read that Carrie Fisher will play Princess Leia. Have you seen Carrie lately? Noooooooooooooo!

Unless she's behind a Darth Vader mask.

March 7, 2013 at 2:14 p.m.
jgreeson said...

Is that's EC's entrance music. Yes. As Gordon Solie would say, "It's a pier 6 brawl and we'll be right back when order is restored."

9er —

Here's praying they do not ask Leia to wear the Return of the Jedi outfit.

And who's the 1 percent that are in support of Kiffin?

Syp —

Tahnks. Hpoe this fnids you wlel.

Stuck —

Prediction on your Mocs tomorrow?

sportsfan —

Interesting point. But that would suggest the possibility of a conspiracy in NASCAR. And there's no way that happens. EVER.

March 7, 2013 at 2:40 p.m.
GratefulDawg said...

I suspect a few of my Bulldog brethren are conflicted concerning Mike Bobo's recent windfall. I like to think that last season was the turning of a corner for the Bulldog Offense. I'm a glass half-full kind of guy. Of course like most never fully satisfied fans, even when the glass if half-full I want the bottle.

As long as Gurley and Marshall are running the ball consistently behind an improved O-line consequently setting up the play-action pass...Bobo will be seen by Bulldog Nation as deserving of the pay raise. Funny how that works out.

There will inevitably be a small but oh-so vocal contingent that will continue bashing Bobo at every turn. These are the same folks who think Grantham should blitz eight or more on every down and are ready to form a search committee for a new head coach everytime the Dawgs drop a game. Johnny Majors spoke of "the legion of the miserable" and that was long before the days of internet message boards.

March 7, 2013 at 3:48 p.m.
fechancellor said...

10 Ring, you may not "wait on no man," but women might be a differnt story.

March 7, 2013 at 5:35 p.m.
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